Consider your email address as you would your home address. You need to give it to others to receive your mail, but protect it from those who will abuse the information or do not know how to protect your address. For this reason, give your home email address sparingly and and specify your boundaries. This might be a little awkward, but say something like, "I know you probably don't do this, but I say this to everyone, please do not forward emails to me or add me to any lists."
When people ask me for my email address, I have usually had time to discover if they will abuse my addresses by selling it to others or forwarding lots of junk mail to me. In the second situation, people for various reasons tend to forward to me what they like reading, such as jokes, sobby stories, and more. At other times, people want addresses for solicitation purposes and sell addresses to other companies. For example, if you are attending a conference, a booth might have a fish bowl full of business cards and the opportunity to win a free pen light. This is the company's way of harvesting contact information. Mailing lists were big business before the Internet and that hasn't changed.
Friends who have your email address may not understand how to protect your email and so they innocently forward emails to you with other email addresses showing and would forward your address to others. Feel free to inform them of your specific boundaries. A sample letter explaining how to forward email is included in this guide or by clicking here.
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